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I know how not to get sick when traveling. I’ve traveled enough to learn to take vitamins and vitamin C, to get lots of rest and drink plenty of fluids. I’ve written articles on the subject. So why am I sick? Because I didn’t take my own advice. Here’s why I got sick after traveling to Orlando, Fla., for the TravelingMoms retreat at Disney.

1. I didn’t get enough sleep.

Rest and sleep are key to keeping your immune system healthy. If you don’t get enough of either, your immune system will be weaker and, thus, more susceptible to the germs that are rampant in airports, on airplanes, in hotels and in other public places.

2. I didn’t take my vitamins.

I was busy and forgot. And by the time nine- or ten o’clock rolled around, I was too tired to take them, knowing that the extra vitamin B would keep me awake far longer than I needed or wanted to be up.

3. I forgot the sanitizing wipes.

I am one of those people who likes things clean. Thus, I usually travel with a few Clorox wipes, which I use to wipe down the hotel room TV remote control, television, door knobs and anything else that is frequently touched and likely infrequently cleaned.

4. I was around other sick people.

Being around sick folks might have increased my chances of coming down with a cold, thanks to the nearby germs.

5. Someone coughed on my luggage.

Remember my ponderings about children in first class? One of said kids had been coughing for the entire flight and, as we waited to deplane, he coughed all over my carry on suitcase. I couldn’t stop him in time and his parents didn’t bother, hence my suitcase took one for the team. Unfortunately I don’t think I hit it with enough spray hand sanitizer in time.

The next time you travel, don’t be like me; instead, do the right thing and protect yourself from errant germs to stay healthy during – and after – your trip.